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Master of Education in Counseling

Program Philosophy

The Counseling Program prepares counselors to take leadership positions in counseling, planning, directing, implementing, and evaluating counseling programs in schools and communities. The program is grounded in solution-focused practice emphasizing strengths and resiliencies rather than exploring pathology. This approach reflects our belief in the resources clients bring to counseling, and that counseling is time-limited.

Students enter a program of learning that emphasizes forming collaborative and nurturing relationships with other students and faculty. These relationships remain energized when students leave TCU to work in schools and communities. 

After graduation, new counselors continue to work closely with their professors, peers, and other professionals. Students graduate with a network of people, skills, and resources. One student stated that he was prepared “to not only find a job but to be qualified above and beyond in that position.” 

For detailed program information, visit the TCU Online Catalog or view the Program Handbook.


Those seeking the M.Ed. in Counseling have three specialization options, all of which are designed to provide students with the necessary counseling skills and external resources to provide individual, preventive, responsive and support services to counseling programs. All three programs are currently offered in-person only. Prospective students can access syllabi by contacting the COE Graduate Program Coordinator, Lori Kimball at

Specialization I: School Counseling (48 hours)
Specialization I offers a M.Ed. in Counseling and the option to pursue certification in school counseling. All counseling classes can be applied to Texas professional licensure. The M.Ed. in School Counseling meets the requirements of the State Board of Educator Certification and follows the guidelines for certification in school counseling.* 

Specialization II: Clinical Mental Health Counseling (60 hours)
The Specialization II Clinical Mental Health Counseling track follows educational requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential in Texas. The program is pursuing CACREP accreditation for Specialization II.

There were 5 Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduates from the 2020-2021 academic year.

Job placement and NCE pass rates 

Of the five graduates (graduating May-August 2021), two students reported employment in the counseling field at agencies. Three of the five graduates have taken their NCE and passed. Another student was continuing to study in preparation for her NCE at the time of the survey. The final graduate has taken and passed their LCDC exam.

Completion/Retention rates

Retention rates were calculated by TCU’s Office of Institutional Research. During the 2020-2021 academic year, 20 students entered the program and 17 (85% remain enrolled). The overall retention rate for the program is 79%. In 2021, four students graduated from the program (with one more completing degree requirements in August 2021), and the program completion rate is currently 89%. One student who began the program in Fall 2017 changed to a school counseling emphasis and graduated in May 2021.

Graduates by Cohort and Completion Term

Cohort Spring 2020 Spring 2021 Summer 2021 Total
Fall 2017 3     3
Fall 2018   2   2
Spring 2019   2 1 3
Fall 2019   1   1
Total 3 5   9

NCE/Employment rates

Based on the five CMHC graduates who responded to follow-up survey, two graduates reported working as counselors in agencies, and one graduate is working in higher education as an academic advisor, and one graduate is conducting a job search. Three graduates reported they had taken and passed the National Counselor Exam (NCE), and the other two reported studying for the NCE.

Specialization III: Counseling (36 hours)
The Specialization III M.Ed. in Counseling focuses on providing a 36-hour rigorous and strength-based program designed for students who are interested in providing social services in settings that do not require licensure or certification. 

*As of September 1, 2019, the Texas Education Agency requires school counselors to have a master’s degree in counseling that encompasses 48 hours of coursework. We no longer offer certification only.

2018-2019 Clinical Mental Health Program Data

2019-2020 Clinical Mental Health Program Data

2020-2021 Clinical Mental Health Program Data

Listen to a Podcast Featuring TCU Counseling Faculty and Students

Program Advisors: Dr. Marcella Stark, Dr. Becky Taylor, Emily Michero

  • Complete the online application ($60 fee)
  • Demonstrate strong academic record
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Brief essay explaining your career goals and interest in the program
  • Two official transcripts from each college or university previously attended (e-transcripts may be sent to
  • Optional: Official GRE Scores
  • Official TOEFL scores for non-native English speakers
  • Online Criminal Background Check
  • Professional interview

March 1 – summer/fall admission
November 16 – spring admission

As of March 15, 2017, the Texas Education Agency Board requires the implementation of an Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs (ASEP) technology fee, as required by 19 TAC 229.9(7). This fee is required for each candidate seeking certification; the candidate must pay a $35 fee when admitted to the program. The fee will appear on your TCU student account.

Regardless of licensure, all students are required to obtain liability insurance and complete a Practicum in counseling. The Texas Education Agency (TEA), the Texas Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (aka the LPC Board), and many insurance companies require disclosure of any criminal offenses. If there is any question, students should obtain a criminal history evaluation.

Clinical mental health counseling students may obtain a criminal history evaluation letter following the procedure at: .

The purpose of the criminal history evaluation is to establish procedures to evaluate, upon request, the criminal history of potential applicants to determine if they are ineligible to hold a license for health professions that include Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselors and Licensed Professional Counselors. These evaluations will occur before the potential applicants enter or complete a preparatory educational program or licensure examination leading to licensure, thereby allowing applicants to avoid unnecessary hardship or costs if their criminal history is a ground for license ineligibility.

School counseling students may find similar information at:

For more information about applying to the M.Ed. in Counseling program, please visit the Graduate Admissions page or call 817-257-7661. For more information about financial assistance and scholarships, please visit the financial aid page.


Ph.D. in Counseling & Counselor Education

Counseling and Counselor Education is designed to prepare advanced professional practitioners in counseling, counselor education and systems intervention with particular emphasis on strength-based approaches to work with diverse populations and settings. Its purpose is to provide quality doctoral training for future educators, researchers and clinicians who wish to emphasize clinical applications that promote the health, quality of life and well-being of children, adolescents, young adults and their families.

The Counseling and Counselor Education Ph.D. Program provided me with a solid foundation to teach, counsel, and lead others successfully in a variety of different capacities and diverse settings.

Vanden Thong ’18

For a detailed description of the program of study for the Ph.D. in Counseling and Counselor Education, see the TCU Online Catalog.

The Ph.D. in Counseling and Counselor Education requires a minimum of 51 credit hours post-matriculation.

Sequence of Experiences

  1. Completion of all non-dissertation coursework
  2. Completion of the qualifying exam
  3. Completion of original research and successful defense of the resulting dissertation

For a detailed description of the program of study for the Ph.D. in Counseling and Counselor Education, see the TCU Online Catalog.

(Not Accepting Applications for 2022-2023)

For admission into the program, an applicant must have a master’s degree in a clinical mental health discipline and be eligible for licensure or certification as a mental health professional in the state of Texas. These disciplines include (but are not limited to) counseling, marriage and family therapy, psychology/psychological associate, nursing and social work. Each applicant must show evidence of knowledge and skill in human development, helping relationships, assessment, research and evaluation, and clinical experience in applied settings.